This chapter discusses the path towards COP21 in Paris in December 2015. COP15 in Copenhagen was unsuccessful in reaching a new binding framework. Copenhagen set markers, such as the limit of 2 degrees Celsius for global warming and to establish that rich countries will pay a meaningful amount to help poor countries take on the challenge of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change. All countries must take responsibility, as has been enunciated clearly by island nations who are in danger of rising sea levels, but not all nations start on even par in terms of technological capacity and wealth. COP19 established the importance of preventing deforestation and saw the establishment of REDD+ to strengthen the biological storage of carbon in forests. The concept of losses and damages developed at this time as well. COP20 will see negotiations for a global online agreement for global citizens to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations and other measures to curb climate change. Professor Sachs shows a graph that depicts the business-as-usual scenario for emissions in comparison to other scenarios and what that means for climate warming. How can we achieve deep decarbonization of the world economy within this century? Remember that emitting one ton of carbon means that you’re emitting more carbon dioxide because of the atomic weight of carbon dioxide. Many countries are not serious about lowering their greenhouse gas emissions because they want to burn more fossil fuels as they experience a boom in their economies and have a period of fossil fuel discovery and production. There is a lack of trust between rich and poor countries that will make agreements difficult. How do we face the long-term realities of the planet when the incentives facing negotiators are on the very short term? This is also not an easy process technologically. This video is part of the module Towards a New Climate Change Agreement.
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